Bauer ‘Still Love[s] Range’ But Dings Them for Value; Miller Adores Corner Store

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Photo: Courtesy of Range

Michael Bauer pays an update visit to Range, the seven-year-old Mission restaurant that was an early arriver in Valencia's food gentrification. He says that he "still love[s]" the place, especially their always exceptional roast chicken, but he was a little less wowed by the main dishes under new chef Rachel Silcocks. "The combinations weren't as intricately woven together as in the past," he writes, and furthermore he makes note that the restaurant's prices aren't as reasonable as they once were, when the restaurant originally garnered three and a half stars. Now, on the one hand, Mr. Bauer's made no secret of how much he hates Healthy S.F. surcharges, telling restaurants that they really ought to absorb those costs and reflect them in their menu prices. But on the other, when a restaurant does away with the surcharges as Range has, and raises prices due to that and the rising cost of food in the last five years, they get punished for it with a half star slip in their rating, which doesn't seem too fair to us. Anyway, his verdict on the place is now three stars. [Chron]

Meanwhile at the Guardian, Virginia Miller files the first review of The Corner Store (Geary and Masonic), which she says is a contemporary, gourmet restaurant that feels "old-fashioned in ethos." She calls out the smoked salmon plate, the burger, and the "elevate[d]" beet salad as all terrific dishes, and says the pork loin is a "steal" at $16. Also, she's a fan of their soda-fountain-esque drink menu, in particular the Muir Trail cocktail which pairs St. George's distinct Terroir gin with huckleberry puree, dry vermouth, lemon, and bitters. (On the topic of soda fountains, she also pays another visit to the Ice Cream Bar to try their boozy drinks, and calls out the Angostura Phosphate. Mmm.) [SFBG]